Olivier Rousteing presents perhaps his most personal offering to date to mark his 10-year anniversary. The emotional presentation resonates as a celebration of beauty in all its forms and Balmain’s iconic savoir-faire, but also brings in a new era of healing and renewal.
The collection was celebratory, but, as ever with Rousteing, also honest. Things I reacted to most were the sensuality of the backless tailoring in menswear, the sludgily comfy appeal of his Insta-friendly slides, the square link chain details that were the metaphorical point of connection across the collection, and the framing of the female body that—unlike some collections we have seen this hormonal season—felt more celebratory than salacious.
The final few dresses of the ready-to-wear section reflected another recent Rousteing truth: During lockdown he was badly burned, spent a month in hospital in recovery, and has been processing an alteration to his skin pigmentation as a result. After storing this knowledge privately for some time, he threw it into his process this evening, thereby owning it through disowning it via its expression in craft. “Fresh, audacious, empowering,” is how Beyoncé described Rousteing in her preamble. She was right again.